Eastern border | The Council of Europe is concerned about the human rights effects of the border decision – Minister of the Interior Rantanen: “The government has to look at other issues as well”

“The search for asylum, it has not been suspended. It just hasn't been possible to do it on the eastern border,” says Interior Minister Mari Rantanen (ps).

European Council Human Rights Commissioner Dunja Mijatović has been sent on Monday by the Minister of the Interior Mari Rantanen (ps) a letter in which he expresses his concern about the human rights implications of the closure of the eastern border.

Mijatović is concerned about the rights of migrants. In the letter, he points out that even if the countries face difficult situations at their borders, they must act in accordance with their human rights commitments.

“The actions of another state, as reprehensible as they may be, do not nullify Finland's refugee and human rights obligations under international law, including the prohibition of refoulement, the right to life, the prohibition of cruel or degrading treatment and the prohibition of mass deportations,” the letter says.

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Interior Minister Mijatović also expressed his concerns Krista Mikkonen (green) already in 2022when changes were made to the Border Guard Act, on the basis of which the eastern border could now be closed.

Minister of the Interior Rantanen commented on the letter on Monday to journalists in parliament.

“Finland's national security is only taken care of by Finland, and this is how we have acted in this regard. And secondly, the asylum seeker, it has not been suspended. It just hasn't been possible on the eastern border,” says Rantanen.

“So I would think that this commissioner looks at the matter from one point of view, but the Finnish government has to look at other issues than just the right to seek asylum.”

According to the original decision, the complete closure of the eastern border would end and the situation would return to normal on December 13, i.e. Wednesday. According to Rantanen, before this, the government will decide whether to continue the closure or not.

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From the Border Guard it is reported that no asylum seekers have come to the eastern border since the complete closure.

Both Rantanen and the Minister of Finance Riikka Purra (ps) are happy with this. However, Purra is worried about what would happen after the border opens.

“Of course, now the numbers have been exactly what was aimed for, i.e. a full zero line. But at least I personally don't think that this situation will go away. But it's very likely that when the border stations are opened, then people will be sent again or will start moving,” Purra told reporters in the parliament on Monday.

“We know that in Murmansk, for example, there are third-country nationals waiting for the Finnish border to open. It is very likely that we will have to row and feel with these decisions.”

HS told last week of people waiting in Murmansk for the Finnish border to open.

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